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Hallo-Green? Top 5 Tips for Making Halloween a Bit Greener

Candy buybacks, LED lights, swap meets and more.

If you were asked to name the color most associated with Halloween, most people would say orange or black, but a growing number of companies and individuals are making green an important part of Halloween traditions.

Many families already do some things to help reduce the amount of new trash—some by reusing costumes and accessories from older siblings, neighbors or friends at school, others decorate reusable shopping bags for their kids to use as trick-or-treat bags and many people use led lights in pumpkins and string lights.

But there are some creative and unique ways to even further reduce the effects of Halloween on your wallet, your children and the planet.

Patch has scoured every corner of the Internet to bring you these Top 5 tips for turning Halloween in to “Hallo-Green”:

Go Natural (from the Gloucester Township Patch): Instead of purchasing cheap plastic trinkets for decorating—trinkets that will be ruined by the end of the season—try to purchase a few good, sturdy, well-made decorations that will stand the test of time.

At our home, we've been using the same items for outdoor decorating for about 10 years. For the seasonal items that can't be saved from year to year, I like to keep it simple and natural. A trip to the pumpkin patch or farmers market can yield you all that you need to create a Halloween oasis. Pumpkins, hay bales, gourds and mums can all create a beautiful holiday atmosphere. Going for a spookier look? Cut an old white sheet into six or eight smaller pieces and use cotton or scrap material to stuff the top. Tie the neck with string or twine and hang your ghost creations by your door or in a tree or bush in your yard. 

Candy Buyback Program (from the Huffington Post): Consider doing good for both your kids and the U.S. troops overseas by “buying back” candy from your kids (thereby saving their teeth) and donating it to a local group that will send it to troops serving in the military. While I’m sure your kids will haggle for more, $.10 per piece seems to be the going rate. With the candy buyback program, your kids still get to have the fun of trick-or-treating, you don’t have to cringe each time they go for another piece of candy and you can put a smile on the face of a member of the military.

Green Candy? While that may not sound particularly appetizing, Greenopia isn’t being literal. Greenopia offers a list of candy manufacturers that. The top three on the 2012 list are: Endangered Species Chocolate, Theo and Yummy Earth. According to a recent USA Today story, Greenopia bases their rankings on “ingredient sourcing, transportation methods, attributes of the product's packaging, and company logistics.”

Tricked Out Treats: The Daily Green suggests not worrying about the stigma of being the house that doesn’t give out candy, and doling out recycled material pencils, change, even small cups of apple cider in recyclable cups (and have a container ready for them to recycle in.

Make-up a plan for face paints: The Treehugger website reminds visitors of some of the ingredients that some make-up manufacturers use in their products that are not earth-friendly: mercury, phthalates, parabens and fragrances. They list some organic and vegan cosmetic companies as well as earth-friendly hair coloring choices.

TELL US: What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate “Hallo-Green?”

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